Photo of diabetic retinopathyDiabetic retinopathy, which impacts the blood vessels in the retina, is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. It’s also the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults, according to the National Eye Institute.

There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, so your vision may not be affected until the disease becomes severe.

Diabetic patients are more prone to serious eye problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts, making it very important to have a regular comprehensive diabetic eye exam.

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What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common eye condition associated with diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body can’t regulate blood sugar levels properly. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the blood vessels in your body, especially in the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that senses light and helps send images to the brain. Damage to the retina from diabetic retinopathy can ultimately cause vision loss.

It is important to make an appointment with your eye doctor if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, experience blurred vision, or have a new onset of floaters that:

  • Affect only one eye
  • Last more than a day
  • Are not associated with a change in blood sugar

A diabetic eye examination will include a test to measure your eye pressure, a retinal exam to view the back of your eye, and an exam of the front of your eye.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Your treatment plan will depend on the type of diabetic retinopathy you have, which will fall into one of two categories: “early” or “advanced.” Dr. Benaim, our resident ophthalmologist, will monitor your condition and discuss the options with you for diabetic retinopathy treatment.

In minor cases, laser treatment may be used to seal blood vessels. In more severe cases, however, surgery may be required to remove blood from the middle of the eye, along with scar tissue that’s pulling on the retina.

If you have diabetes, it is important to have regular, comprehensive eye exams to reduce your risk of permanent damage from diabetic retinopathy.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Benaim in Jupiter, Fla., please contact us at 561-747-7777.